Orbital Calls It Quits, But The Music Goes On And On

orbitalBrothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll announced today that they’re hanging up their iconic torch-glasses and parting ways, as Orbital, for the final time.

Having first broken up in 2004, the Hartnolls reunited to play the Big Chill, celebrating 20 years of their DIY techno track ‘Chime’ in 2009.This led to extended touring and a performance before millions at the opening of the Paralympics, with Professor Stephen Hawking on vocals.

Here’s their iconic track, Halcyon:

Both brothers plan to stay active, working separately.

Phil Hartnoll is focusing on his DJing career, which has taken him recently to Thailand, Japan, Korea, Dublin, New York, France and London.

“I am really enjoying playing a mixture of my own exclusive Orbital remixes mixed with some great new dancefloor tracks,” says Phil Hartnoll. “I have also been discovering so much talent along the way and look forward to potential collaborations.”

Paul Hartnoll is focusing on a new project, 8:58.

“Nothing lasts forever and it’s time to stop,” says Paul Hartnoll. “Since finishing the soundtrack with Flood & PJ Harvey for the BBC One television show Peaky Blinders, I’ve now got my own new project, ‘8:58’ which I’m really excited about. It’s a continuation of my work from the past 25 years, but with a new vitality taking me on to something fresh, mixed with the best of what I’ve put into Orbital.’

Here’s the first single from 8:58, titled 8:58:

For more info on Paul’s projects, see eightfiftyeight.com.

For more info on Phil’s projects, visit: facebook.com/philhartnoll.

17 thoughts on “Orbital Calls It Quits, But The Music Goes On And On

  1. Just wanted to “chime” in.

    Orbital is an immortal towering force in electronic music, and everything they’ve done remains vital and fresh, and awaits discovery by some young person, who will be stunned and obsessed by it.

    1. you literally just described my life. 23 been loving them since I found them on here some years ago, and got to check em at Moogfest 2012 (also thanks to synthtopia). Just magical, has inspired me to no end ~!

      I like to think about 91 (the year I was born) and how they were my age back then, it just blows my mind.

  2. “In Sides” is a high-water mark in an often repetitious field. Orbital knows about counterpoint (gasp!) and harmony. Dance in general would be a lot better if we heard more of that from the players. “8:28” builds to a great ending. That’s more like it.

  3. Thank you brothers Hartnoll for all of the great music! Saw Orbital perform with their flashlight glasses in Philadelphia at the Electric Factory in 1999 for the Community Service tour with The Crystal Method and Lo Fidelity AllStars. That was an amazing show.

  4. Orbital is one of the very few electronic groups that were able to cross the spans of time, and are still together and even able to say “We’re done.” They will always be iconic.

  5. Their earlier albums are brilliant, but they haven’t written anything vaguely decent since “Funny Break” (even that seems like Orbital-lite). So, no great loss.

  6. My first introduction to orbital was the altogether album, my dad brought it back from a holiday in japan. It blew my mind and I absolutely love it to this day

  7. Just like when Animation great Hayao Miyazaki “retired” I shed no tears because I simply knew that he would be back (and it took less than a year before he started another project).

    Orbital will be back, I’m pretty sure in a few years if they are both healthy, they will give it another go.

  8. I have to say that Adnan’s from Insides is still one of the most emotive and best electronic tracks of all time. Just gorgeous.

    Shame to see them part ways. But I am sure they will have a re-union at some point. Very cool that they are exploring new avenues. I wish them nothing but the best.

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